Thermally conductive polycarbonate from Covestro provides heat management for LED luminaire
The housing of SLP Lighting’s new CircLED™ high bay fixture acts as a heat sink and is injection molded with Makrolon® TC8030 polycarbonate from Covestro. (Photo credit: SLP Lighting)
A heat sink is crucial for the long-term performance of LED lighting luminaires, helping to dissipate heat. Aluminum, a popular material for this component, has disadvantages that include its weight, appearance and tendency to corrode. With this in mind, SLP Lighting selected a special plastic from Covestro to provide efficient cooling for its new CircLED™ product.
CircLED™ is an 18-inch round high bay fixture for general high bay applications such as auditoriums, exhibit halls, factories, distribution centers and warehouses. SLP Lighting also offers an IP-66-rated version of CircLED™ for harsh, wet environments. The housing of the CircLED™ acts as a heat sink for the lighting lumenaire. The CircLED™ housing is injection molded at SLP Lighting’s manufacturing plant in Missouri with thermally conductive Makrolon® TC8030 polycarbonate from Covestro.
“Most fixtures of this type have heavy die cast aluminum housings, but CircLED™ utilizes light weight, thermally conductive Makrolon® while still thermally managing up to a 200 watt LED engine,” said Don Katashuk, engineer, SLP Lighting. “Covestro provided outstanding technical assistance during the development, pre-launch and launch phases of the program, including numerous thermal and mold flow simulations.”
Makrolon® TC8030 polycarbonate offers several benefits for LED lighting applications including:
- High thermal conductivity
- Light weight, reducing the weight of the LED light engine
- A UL 94 flame class rating of V-0 at 2.0 mm
- Enhanced design freedom, allowing designers to create non-traditional shapes and optimize joining techniques
- Can be used to in-mold LEDs on the printed circuit board in the heat sink assembly to reduce costs
“Developed specifically for LED applications, this grade of Makrolon® polycarbonate provides strong heat-transferring capability, enabling the design to maintain an acceptable steady state temperature,” said Brian Faul, business development manager – Midwest region, Polycarbonates, Covestro. “We worked closely with SLP Lighting, providing part and mold design support, substantial CAE thermal simulations and physical testing to validate material performance in the application.” According to Faul, the company’s material models and techniques accurately simulate thermal performance, allowing design changes to be made prior to mold construction, when cost of change is low.
“Our collaboration with SLP Lighting highlights our dedication to meeting the complex needs of lighting manufacturers, as well as our history of providing tailor-made, high-performance polycarbonate resins and blends for LED lighting applications,” said Kevin Dunay, industry manager, Polycarbonates, Covestro.
Attendees at LIGHTFAIR International, May 8-10, in Chicago, are invited to visit the company’s booth (#3781) to learn more about the materials, technologies and technical services Covestro offers for the lighting industry.